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High School Musical (Encore Edition)
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The smash-hit Disney Channel Original Movie everyone is talking about is now available on DVD -- with bonus features that will rock your house! Troy (Zac Efron), the popular captain of the basketball team, and Gabriella (Vanessa Anne Hudgens), the brainy and beautiful member of the academic club, break all the rules of East High society when they secretly audition for the leads in the school's musical. As they reach for the stars and follow their dreams, everyone learns about acceptance, teamwork, and being yourself. And it's all set to fun tunes and very cool dance moves! Featuring the hottest talent, HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL celebrates the power of music in this hip, entertaining, gotta-get-up-and-dance movie. Own all the excitement and the exclusive extras available on this Encore Edition DVD.
The Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical is a combination of backstage action and Grease without the unwholesome habits. Scoring record ratings at the time of its January 2006 broadcast, it's a smash hit with tween audiences (ages 6 to 10), but appealing for all ages. At a New Year's Eve party, Troy (Zac Efron of the WB's Summerland) has a chance meeting with Gabriella (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) when they share a karaoke song. Lo and behold, when school resumes, they discover that Gabriella has just transferred to Troy's East High School, a campus divided into tight cliques of jocks, cheerleaders, brainiacs, and skater dudes. Eager to recapture the magic they'd discovered during karaoke, Troy and Gabriella consider auditioning for the school's upcoming musical, much to the dismay of the school's frost queen/theater goddess, Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody). Problem is, Troy is also the star of the basketball team and Gabrielle is being recruited to compete in the Scholastic Decathlon. Will they give up their cliques to start something new, or will they do as the show's first big anthem urges and "Stick to the Status Quo"? Well, this is a Disney movie, so maybe the sacrifices won't be that hard, and even the hints of romance are mild.
The bestselling soundtrack is catchy in that Disney-pop kind of way, mixing in a dash of hip-hop ("Getcha Head in the Game," punctuated by squeaky basketball shoes and other sound effects), salsa ("Bop to the Top"), and the endearingly hammy ("What I've Been Looking For" performed by Sharpay and her brother, Ryan, played by Lucas Grabeel). It's not hard to imagine High School Musical becoming a semi-staple for high school groups to perform themselves. DVD bonus features include sing-along subtitles; a 9-minute featurette discussing casting, recording sessions, and rehearsals; a multi-angle look at a rehearsal of "Bop to the Top"; and music videos for "We're All in This Together" and a song that didn't make it into the final film, "I Can't Take My Eyes Off of You," performed by Efron, Hudgens, Tisdale, and Gabreel. --David Horiuchi
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A movie for anyone of any age. Get a fake microphone ready and sing along with them. We are all in this together.
I'm a fan of musicals. If you aren't, then you will not find this to your liking. I have a feeling this one will stand the test of time and become a cult favorite as time passes, much the way Grease became iconic for a certain time and year.
The plot? During vacation, on New Year's Eve, basketball jock Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) and the brilliant, bookish Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) meet at a teen party, forced to sing a karaoke duet together, and end up exchanging phone numbers. Then, for Troy, it's back to school at Albuquerque, New Mexico's East High.
But it turns out that Gabriella is East High School's newest student. So, a week after their duet, the two meet again and their interest in music and in each other is renewed. And there's a school winter musical looking for new blood. Do Troy and Gabriella sign up? Doing so would mean breaking out of their respective cliques and fracturing the school's status quo. Troy's with the jock crowd, with a big game in 2 weeks as the EHS Wildcats play for the championship. Gabriella is with the brainy set and expected to compete in the scholastic decathlon. As the song goes, as chorused overwhelmingly by the student body: "No, no, no - stick to the stuff you know." But, it turns out, what Troy and Gabriella know best is following their hearts. And singing.
HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL is kid stuff, sure, served up with a bland, run-of-the-mill storyline, and with the usual messages of individuality and following your dreams wholesomely spoonfed to the audience. But it's all executed with a certain vitality and is so darn winning that even creaky, old dogs like me surrender under its spell. HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL is as family friendly as it gets, about as objectionable as a brown-eyed puppy. Efron and Hudgens are sweet together and are most assuredly the biggest reason for Disney's newest monster franchise. Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay) and Lucas Grabeel (Ryan) shouldn't be left out as their sister-brother act is darn sidesplitting.
And most of the songs are pretty catchy. Certainly, tons of fans have propelled the film's soundtrack to the Billboard chart stratosphere. I'll probably forget these tunes in a week or so, but for now, I've been at it nonstop, humming "Breaking Free," "Stick to the Status Quo," and "I Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You." This last song, by the way, is busted out merrily by Efron, Hudgens, Tisdale, and Grabeel (who shows off his chops here) in the dvd's bonus music video.
I also like this movie for the fact that it came out of nowhere to become a phenomenon. The Disney Channel certainly didn't expect all this hubbub at first. But in HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, we have star turning performances, unbridled, bubbly enthusiasm, and a certain generic charm - all combining to form this happy synergy. And, who knows, just maybe Walt Disney even gave his blessing from his cryogenic chamber. But there's simply no denying that this movie is a bonafide sensation and speedily becoming an unstoppable force. Me, well, color me a fan. And, to demonstrate solidarity, I'll echo the kids at East High: "Wildcats, everywhere!"
Zac Efron is SUPERB as basketball supter-star Troy Bolton. He is a great actor and has a great voice as well. Vanessa Anne Hudgens, who portrays Gabriella Montez, the "freaky math girl" as she puts it in the movie has a gorgeous voice! Ashley Tisdale (Maddie from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody) plays the villain Sharpay Evans so well. In real life, Ashley is anything but evil, but it does not show in the movie. Her voice is great as is her acting. Lucas Grabeel portrays Sharpay's twin brother Ryan Evans, the guy who brings a lot of the comedy to the movie. Corbin Bleu (Chad Danforth) and Monique Colman (Taylor McKessie) also co-star in this movie as the friends of the main characters.
I will admit that I am much older than many of the people who watched the movie; I'm almost 25, but this movie connects to anyone! The message in the movie is to be yourself and make it known! Don't be afraid of what other people think. Just do what YOU want to do. I love that message because it really gives kids and adults even, hope.
If you are a fan of musicals or a fan of Disney Channel, I highly recommend this movie to you!
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